In this age of social media and interconnectivity among individuals, it is no surprise that we find ourselves immersed in a world of thousands of thoughts and conversations. Access to so many different minds inevitably leads to collaboration, inspiration, remix, and convergence. Looking back, even before social media was as prominent as it is today there were still instances (if not a majority of the time) in which individuals were “inspired” by everything around them. From musicians sampling songs from other musicians, artists recreating pieces based on their environments or the people surrounding them, to writers having their creativity flow based on a thought triggered through another reading. We have always, physically and virtually, been connected to the environment and people around us, it makes sense that our thoughts and creative pursuits build off of other things. Remix culture is the essence of our society, it’s not that there is no original thought, instead, we just recognize that one interesting idea can spark something to inspire another thought. Now there is more access to the minds across the world.
Taking that and looking at it in relation to Trans rights, social media users have used remix and convergence culture to get their messages across and support particular thoughts and issues. Looking at specific instances, Trans rights users took the Black Lives Matter hashtag and reincorporated it to work for them as well, saying Trans Lives Matter to get a trend. Other examples include smaller videos spread through Facebook, this style has been incredibly popular recently. These videos are typically 2-7 minutes long with the in
tention spread information to the public about a particular topic. For the trans community, these topics include information about young transitioning or transitioned trans people and their journey, aiming to encourage others and spread positivity and love.
Other topics include using funny styles to spread information about laws, prejudice, and other important information that people may not have access to or may not take the time to look into if it was not presented in an interactive way. This is convergence of old media, public information, and new media styles and trends.
Different videos and images based on what is popular at that moment surface that use the trend to bring attention to Trans rights. Remix culture and convergence culture are necessary to spread ideas because the best attention seems to come from individuals who are already familiar with a style of presentation. I know personally, I’m probably more likely to click on a like, video, image, whatever if it seems similar to another form of media that I’ve previously seen and enjoyed. Although there is this use of remix culture, I would not say there is a reliance on it. It is not the only form that Trans rights users have to relay messages or support, but it is a significant method. The idea of combining different mediums, different, ideas, various projects, etc. has all been incredibly helpful in progressing the movement in the social media realm, but it is not its only factor. Social media is still a place to promote old media and non-remix culture. So, pages like the New York Times can still have their articles read and accessed by thousands, without having to conform to new media tactics.
In this Transgender rights movement, the kind of new technologies being used is attention grabbing headlines, memes, videos, personal stories, tweets, etc. These techniques are used to bring attention and support to such a controversial topic. This access to the internet has allowed groups of people to project their thoughts and messages to mass groups of individuals. Having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, instant news sources and more are all essential sources of new technologies that have changed the way we can receive and send information. With the use of these technologies, the Trans rights movements have the ability to spread their voice and educate communities about issues and forms of supports. Without these new technologies, access to the minds of the world, I’m not sure many of the ideas or issues of the Trans community would be spread otherwise, because of how controversial it is not many news sources or individuals spread proper and clear information about Trans rights. New media, remix culture, and the convergence of old media and ideas has allowed for this sort of information to be spread.